Frameline, Stop Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid

Frameline, Stop Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid
June 19, 2012 By pinkwatcher

We are filmmakers, film-goers, fans, and community members calling on Frameline to reject its sponsorship by the Israeli Consulate.  We’re not advocating for a boycott, but asking Frameline to stand up for justice, equality, and human rights for ALL!

Frameline executive director KC Price has promised an open community conversation about Israeli government sponsorship of the oldest LGBT film festival, yet he has not kept his word. Frameline, set a date for an open community conversation now!


Take Action!

1. Tweet
Retweet this tweet ( or write your own @FramelineFest!

2. Post on Facebook
Re-post our graphic ( on your own timeline and Frameline’s!

3. Contact Frameline
Write a short note telling Frameline’s leadership ( and to drop the Israeli Consulate’s sponsorship.


3 Reasons to Oppose Pinkwashing

1. LGBT Rights are Human Rights
Human rights should not be a zero-sum game: everyone deserves basic civil rights, including freedoms of speech and movement, freedom from harassment, freedom to earn a living, and many others.  While certain Israeli policies toward Israeli LGBT citizens may be commendable, they do not overshadow Israel’s continued military occupation, violations of international law, and discrimination against Palestinians, which world leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Jimmy Carter have described as “apartheid.”  Frameline claims that it does not take political positions, but by accepting funding from the Israeli Consulate, it is clearly taking a side and offering tacit support to Israel’s human rights abuses.

2. Israel — Not Activists — Targets Frameline
The Israeli Consulate’s sponsorship of Frameline is not an isolated case of generosity.  In 2005, several Israeli government departments launched a multimillion-dollar “Brand Israel” marketing campaign to gain international support by making the country seem more “relevant and modern.”  Both the San Francisco Bay Area and the LGBT community have been specifically named as target populations in subsequent reports, and Israel frequently enlists cultural institutions to try to improve its image.  In this light, the Consulate’s financial support forces Frameline into a divisive position that is especially alienating to queer Palestinian and Middle Eastern communities.  This is far from altruistic.

3. Denounce Racism, Support Queer Palestinian Activists
Arguments championing Israel’s LGBT “friendliness” often implicitly and explicitly echo racist and Islamophobic assumptions that Palestinian, Arab, and/or Muslim cultures are “backwards” in their treatment of LGBT people.  But Israel is not a safe haven for LGBT Palestinians — its discriminatory policies target both queer and straight Palestinians alike.  And, while certain policies may be in place, Israeli society (like most) is still deeply rooted in homophobia and sexism.  There is a growing LGBT movement within Palestinian society that is working not only for equal rights as queer people, but as Palestinian people as well.  Frameline and its supporters should look to their leadership, not the Israeli Consulate’s.


Additional Resources

A documentary guide to ‘Brand Israel’ and the art of pinkwashing
Sarah Schulman, MondoWeiss, November 30, 2011

Israel’s gay propaganda war
Jasbir Puar, The Guardian (UK), July 1, 2010

Israel and ‘Pinkwashing’
Sarah Schulman, New York Times, November 22, 2011

Protest pinkwashing at the San Fran LGBT Film Fest
Electronic Intifada, February 17, 2011

Debate shadows Israeli films at Frameline
Heather Cassell, Bay Area Reporter, June 14, 2012

Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

QUIT! – Queers Underminig Israeli Terrorism

2 Responses

  1. Samir Hayek says:

    Have any gay-rights activists ever spoken about North Korea, a country that represses its homosexuals–and all its other citizens? Of course not. After all, North Korea is Israel’s enemy, and that’s what counts.
    The following essay is about both North Korea and pinkwashing.

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